Growing luscious and delicious fruits takes a lot of feeding on the soil. All fruit trees require a lot of minerals from the soil that they are growing in. In fact, they need not only the three crucial elements but all 16 essential elements with a special focus on micronutrients.
Fertilizing the soil correctly is one of the most important things that you can do to better your fruit yield. However, before you pick the right fertilizers, you need to know a lot about nutrient requirements and fertilization specifications.
This article is an extensive guide on fertilizing fruit trees. Along with the guide, you will also find reviews of some of the best fertilizers you can find on Amazon. Therefore, read this article to gain all the knowledge you will need to fertilize your fruit trees.
Importance of Fertilizing Fruit Trees
All fruit trees are extremely heavy feeders. Whether they are growing fruits as big as melons or as small oranges, each fruiting free will require a lot of nutrients to produce fruit. Soil fertility plays an essential role in how well the yield from each fruiting tree could be. However, natural fertility can only help, to some extent.
To be able to produce commercial-quality high-yield fruits, you will require using fertilizers. Fertilizers not only replenish any deficiency present in the soil but also provide the extra nutritional kick that your plants might need.
Any lack of an adequate amount of nutrients will affect the growth of the fruits and the entire tree. For example, lack of nitrogen can cause stunted growth, which will not let the tree get tall. The deficiency of zinc, calcium, or phosphorous can cause the roots to grow brittle, which will lead to fruit diseases.
Better Tree and Fruit Health
Whether you are farming in a commercial space or your backyard farm, the fruit’s health is directly proportionate to the tree’s health. Therefore, fruit trees require the proper application of nutrients such as zinc and nitrogen before and after the fruiting season. Proper mending and pruning are also crucial to promote better fruit growth.
The growth and productivity of fruit trees are primarily dependent on the nutrients that they get. An imbalance in nutritional uptake can cause many issues in fruit trees. Therefore, we highly recommend annual soil testing to check its nutritional composition. Comparing the fruit’s requirements with your soil’s nutritional report is the right way to begin choosing fertilizers.
You can observe your fruit trees closely to determine whether they have any nutrient-specific deficiency. Given below are some symptoms caused by a deficiency of specific nutrients in fruit trees.
Nitrogen is the most required element for optimum tree growth. It plays a vital role in the development of chlorophyll, which helps in plant and fruit growth. However, nitrogen is also one of the most difficult elements to be found organically in soil.
Given below are some of the things that you can observe when your plants face nitrogen deficiency.
- Stunted growth
- Yellowing Leaves- only the older leaves yellow as available nitrogen is allocated to the growth of newer parts of the plant.
- Drying or dying leaves- In case of severe nitrogen deficiency, older leaves shrivel and die instead of tuning yellow to provide the nutrient only to required parts.
Phosphorous is considered to be the ‘energy unit’ of fruiting trees. It is an essential element for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis, in turn, helps in the germination, growth, and fruiting processes of the plants. Therefore, when plants do not get enough phosphorous, they display the following signs.
- Older leaves in cooler weather tend to fall off quickly.
- A reddish cast is formed on the leaves’ surface since they cannot produce enough nutrients to stay green.
- Plant stalks become stunted and slender.
While potassium acts as an immunity-builder in plants, potassium deficiency is more problematic than ever in the case of fruiting trees. It is with the help of potassium that plants are able to move sugar and transport within themselves. Therefore, if the plants do not have enough potassium, the fruits might not taste sweet and juicy. Getting an adequate level of potassium promotes the growth of bigger fruits. Given below are some things that you can observe in potassium-deficient trees.
- The lower leaves get yellow or mottled instead of drying and dying.
- Resulting fruits tend to be small in size and try in texture.
- Water uptake of the plant significantly reduces. Therefore, even a drying plant might not be able to carry the water that you add to the soil.
Other than nitrogen, sulfur is another element that helps in chlorophyll production. Sulfur is the crucial element that helps plants transport the sun’s energy throughout the plants. Therefore, most sulfur deficiencies look similar to nitrogen deficiencies. The only difference is that nitrogen deficiency attacks old leaves, while sulfur deficiency attacks young leaves.
Fruit trees cannot thrive without calcium. It is only because of calcium that the fruits and leaves stay supple as the element helps in strengthening the cell walls throughout the plant. Calcium is also crucial in neutralizing soil acidity, along with manganese and aluminum toxicity. When fruit trees do not get enough calcium, they can face the following issues.
- Localized tissue necrosis
- Drying or curling new leaf margins
- Blossom end rot sue to incomplete cell wall growth
- Corky spots on fruits
There is no better way of explaining the importance of boron than to explain its relation to calcium. Boron is the agent that allows the plants to absorb calcium. Therefore, boron deficiency leads to improper calcium distribution in fruits. Given below are some ways to determine boron deficiency.
- Irregular patterns in fruits – wherever calcium is not available to the plants, the fruit’s size shrinks, leading to irregular shapes.
- Stunted fruit growth
- Thick and asymmetric rinds
- Hard cores or hollow cores of leaves.
Manganese is another element that helps in photosynthesis by developing chlorophyll. However, manganese deficiency looks a little different from nitrogen and sulfur deficiency.
- Leaf veins remain green, but the rest of the leaf turns yellow.
- Small necrotic spots on the leaf surface
- Leaves can turn greyish-yellow
- Low fruit production due to lack of getting enough protein
- Quick leaf shedding
Other than these elements, there are the rest of the nine essential elements that are required by plants. The deficiency of each plant is visible in some way or the other. The common symptoms of deficiency are stunted growth, diseased or drying leaves, and improper fruit growth.
Fertilizer Information You Should Know Before Making a Purchase
Choosing a fertilizer for plants seems to be a straightforward job, right. Well, you will be surprised by the number of things that influence your fertilizer choice. All fertilizers have different nutritional values, and they also come in varying levels of purity and varied forms. Given below are some things you need to know before you start looking for a fertilizer for yourself.
NPK Ratio – What is it?
When you look at a fertilizer’s package, you will see some numbers written on it in the x-y-z format. You must be wondering what these numbers mean. These numbers signify the NPK ratio of the fertilizer.
The NPK ratio signifies the proportion of the three critical elements required for plant growth – nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K).
NPK Ratio – Why is it Important?
NPK ratio is indicative of the percentage of each nutrient present in the fertilizer in proportion to its weight. Therefore, when you look at fertilizer, you can check its strength by checking its NPK ratio. Every fruiting tree has different NPK requirements. However, most trees prefer balanced ratios such as 10-10-10 or 5-5-5.
The purpose that each fertilizer solves is also apparent from this ratio. Fertilizers with higher nitrogen content help in better growth, phosphorous content helps in better photosynthesis, and potassium helps in better disease management.
Different Forms of Fertilizers
The application process largely depends on the form of fertilizer. Most plants require a specific form of fertilizer that provides nutrition to the plants in specific ways. Given below are the different forms that fertilizers are available in.
Liquid fertilizers are a great quick-fix when your fruit trees are in dire need of nutrients. These fertilizers provide a smooth blend of nutrients that help in easy uptake by the plants. Liquid fertilizers can be simply poured over the desired area, and it will be absorbed quickly. This is because they are already dissolved and do not require to be broken down by the soil.
Granular fertilizers look similar to sand granules that can generally be dissolved into the water for fertilization. Each solid particle of granular fertilizer is packed with nutrients. Each of these granules takes time to break down in the soil. Therefore, the nutrients release slowly into the soil, promoting healthy and balanced plant growth. Granular fertilizers are durable and easy to store.
Fertilizer spikes come in the sold form and are the easiest way to provide fertilization to the soil. All you need to do is hammer some of the spikes into the ground and allow them to slowly dissolve and allow the plants to uptake nutrients. Spikes will enable you to take full control over your plant’s fertilization. They also promote better waste management and are durable.
Types of Fertilizer
When thinking of different kinds of farming, the farming world itself is divided into two – organic farming and chemical farming. Organic farmers prefer to use organic materials, including fertilizers, for better plant growth. Chemical farmers, on the other hand, presser to use synthetic fertilizers. The differences between the two are discussed below.
Organic fertilizers do not tamper with the natural composition of the tree and the fruits. They are made of natural components such as manure, blood meal, feather meal, seaweed, and worm castings.
Organic fertilizers work slowly and do not make an enormous impact on plant growth. However, most new farmers prefer organic fertilizers because they are a great way of using natural substances to provide nutrition. The lack of chemicals ensures that the plants are completely safe to consume by people and animals.
Synthetic fertilizers are made from inorganic or man-made substances. Most of them come from the by-products of the petroleum industry. The common ingredients of synthetic fertilizers are ammonium phosphate, potassium sulfate, ammonium nitrate, and superphosphate.
Most of these fertilizers work quickly and produce better results than organic fertilizers. However, recent studies show that along with their benefits, chemical compounds have several side-effects. Therefore, their usage can produce better yield, but these fruits are sometimes not fit to be consumed by humans.
How Much Fertilization Do Fruit Trees Need?
You must know how much fertilizer should be applied to different kinds of fruit plants. Imbalanced fertilization can hurt the growth of the fruit trees. Below are some of the things that influence the number of fertilizers that need to be applied to a fruit tree.
Age of the Trees
The stage at which the fruit tree is at the time of fertilization is an essential factor to bear in mind. It influences the fertilization requirement and timing for the plant.
Young Fruit Trees
The first fertilization step that you must take is before you even plant fruit trees. Preparing the soil well before planting trees will give young fruit trees a lot of opportunities to grow. By good soil preparation, you will also obviate the necessity to use fertilizers on new fruit trees.
While young trees do require a lot of fertilization, they shouldn’t get too much nutrition at first. If plants get too much nutrition at their inception, they will start to fruit in their first season, which should be discouraged to allow better nutrient distribution throughout their structure in their first season.
Mature Fruit Trees
Mature fruit trees in their second or later development season require more fertilization than young trees. As the trees grow older, it is great for them to get a good amount of nutrients to allow them to grow newer parts as the older parts start to wither off. A mature tree requires additional nutrients to maintain a balance between fruit growth and tree sustenance.
After the first season, you would want your fruit tree to grow some fruits. Trees require a lot of additional nutrients that come from fertilizers to help them grow healthy and plenty of fruit.
Size of the Tree
This goes without saying – the bigger the size of the tree, the more fertilizers it will require. As trees grow bigger, the more they will feed on the nutrients available in the soil. They also require more nutrients to push water and sugar through their veins.
You can determine the amount of fertilizer that needs to be used according to the tree’s diameter or age. All trees require about 0.10 pound of nitrogen per inch of diameter. Therefore, if you have a 5-inch diameter tree, you should apply 0.5lbs of nitrogen for fertilization to the soil.
Different companies manufacture all fertilizers. They have different components in different proportions. Resultingly, all commercial fertilizer packs have specific recommendations. It is best to follow those recommendations since the manufacturers are aware of how much of their product will be effective for a given period.
Disproportionate Fertilizer Application Implications
Sometimes, you might end up applying either too little or too much fertilizer to your plants. The amount of fertilizers you put into the soil deeply influences the way it will interact with the tree’s health.
Applying too Much Fertilizer
The effect of applying too many fertilizers varies on the type and composition of the fertilizer. Too much nitrogen or calcium near the roots can be overreactive, and hence, they could potentially burn the roots.
Another common thing to notice in fruiting trees is that the tree will grow a lot of leaves. All the nutrients will rush towards growing the size of the tree instead of growing fruits. Therefore, you will end up with a huge and lush tree that has little to no fruits.
Applying too Little Fertilizer
The effects of applying too little fertilizers are obvious. If your fruit trees have nitrogen deficiency, the leaves’ conditions might improve for a few days, but they will yellow as quickly as they got greener. Similar results can be seen with different nutrient deficiencies. The fertilizer effects would either not be visible at all or will be present for a small duration.
Fertilizer Application Methods
There are different methods that you can use to apply fertilizers to the soil. When the trees are in their first season, you must let them grow roots into good-quality soil. Applying high nitrogen to the soil’s surface is one of the most common techniques. Using an organic fertilizer mixed with mulch will allow the plants to take in nutrients without the mixture getting washed away by rain.
Applying fertilizer on the soil’s surface will not work as their roots are dug deep in the soil for mature trees. Therefore, using things such as a fertilizer spike or adding granular fertilizer in pits surrounding the tree is a good method.
Given below are several fertilizer application methods that you can use to fertilize young and mature fruit trees.
Broadcasting a fertilizer means that you will be spreading the fertilizer of choice evenly throughout the field. It can be used as a top dressing for crops or as a method of fertilizing young trees. It is a great method if the entire field is facing some nutrients deficiency and all the plants require equal attention.
In the case of young trees, top dressing is the default method of fertilization. However, in the case of mature trees, top dressing is usually done when plants need immediate attention. Topdressing means adding a layer of fertilizers directly over the soil that the tree is standing at. This allows the tree to get individual attention.
The placement method is the one in which the fertilizer is drilled deep within the soil. This is a great method to be used for mature trees that have deep and robust roots. Placement can also be used to target specific trees that require extra attention. There are several methods of carrying outplacement fertilization, such as pellet placement, band placement, localized placement, and bulk blending.
Liquid fertilization can be done in several ways. The liquid fertilizer could either be injected into the soil or placed in a pit near the plants. Adding liquid fertilizer to the soil with irrigation water is called fertigation and is gaining a lot of popularity.
Liquid fertilization is known for its quick benefits since the nutrients do not have to take time to break down and dissolve into the soil. It can either be done as top or side dressing or as broadcasting.
When to Apply Fertilizers to the Soil
Using Fertilizers at the right time is the key to healthy trees. It is important to identify when the trees require fertilization to make optimum use of each fertilizer coat.
The perfect time to apply fertilizers to a fruit plant is right before the buds break. This is the right time because all fruit trees feed the most while producing buds. Therefore, providing maximum nutrition at this time will aid in bigger ad better fruit production.
Fertilizing After Bud Break
In case you miss fertilizing your trees before their buds break, you can still fertilize them before the fruits start to show. Fertilizing by June is acceptable. You must fertilize before the generation of fruits because the most energy that the trees require is when they are producing fruits. Applying fertilizers after that will give them a lot of energy that they have no use for.
If you are not sure about when the right time to apply fertilizers to your trees is, you can resort to emergency fertilization. By observing the tree’s leaves and fruits, you will be able to detect if the tree is facing certain deficiencies. Applying a top dressing of liquid fertilizers will aid your tree’s growth immediately.
When Not to Fertilize
Make sure that you never fertilize your fruit trees in the fall season or late summer. After the application of fertilizers, the tress will definitely grow bigger, and additional growth right before winter will risk the tea getting frost damage.
In case your trees are showing signs of deficiency in late summer, you should only use a top-dressing of rock phosphate. Using nitrogen fertilizers at this time will do more damage than good to the tree.
Best NPK Ratio for Fruit Trees
There is no one-size-fits-all ratio that is suitable for all fruit trees. As we have seen from the factors that influence fertilization requirements, every tree has different requirements. However, on a general note, fertilizers with at least five nitrogen units are great for fruit trees.
If your soil profile has better or worse nitrogen conditions, you can adjust the nitrogen units accordingly. Balanced fertilizers work great if you are looking for the overall growth and not focusing on a single factor. Therefore, a 10-10-10 NPK ratio is the best that you can get. However, 5-5-5or other similar ratios are also good for fruiting plants.
Top 10 General Fertilizers
By now, you know how to choose the right fertilizer for yourself. You also know how, when, and how much fertilizer should be used for different aged and sized trees. Now is the time when you would want to buy fertilizer or your fruit trees to help them thrive. However, finding the right fertilizers is not always an easy job.
To make things easier for you, we have consolidated a list of the best fertilizers that you can buy from Amazon. Below are reviews of the top 10 fertilizers to help you see the best fertilizer for fruit trees.
NPK ratio: 5-3-3
The Espoma PT18 Plant Tone is a 100% organic and natural fertilizer that is perfect for fruit trees. It is also god for shade and ornamental trees. This fertilizer has a wide range of micronutrients, such as calcium. Therefore, it is a great product to provide your fruit trees with an overall well-balanced nutrition profile.
As an organic and granular formula, this is perfect for releasing nutrients slowly into the soil. Therefore, it is sure to have effects for a long period. All the materials used to make this product are non-toxic and non-hazardous. However, since the organic composition includes animal waste, the smell of the fertilizer is awful.
The product has a 4.8-star ration out of 5 on Amazon. Most users like the fertilizer’s granular texture that is sure not to break down easily into the soil. Users see the effects of the fertilizer in the healthy leaves of their trees.
- 100% natural and organic
- Contains requires micronutrients
- Slow -formula
- Smells awful
- Low KNP formula might not be great for soil deficiencies
NPK ratio: 5-5-2
This is a fertilizer that comes from a well-reputed brand and is specially designed for fruit trees. However, this fertilizer also works well with berrying plants such as vines and strawberries. Along with the right amount of nitrogen and phosphorous content, the fertilizer has all the required micronutrients for fruit trees.
Dr. Earth Natural Wonder Fruit Tree Fertilizer adds probiotic microbes into the soil. Therefore, it helps in utilizing the organic material that is already present in the soil. It also has mycorrhizal fungi that help in forming better fruit yields. This organic fertilizer can keep your trees well-provided for about eight weeks.
Some users have reported that the fertilizer does not have any pungent odor, which is a great application advantage. Users also like that the product is non-GMO verifies and is OMRI listed.
- Organic and natural
- It does not have a pungent odor.
- Non-GMO verified
- OMRI listed
- Has low NPK
NPK ratio: 2-0-0
This liquid fertilizer contains nitrogen, manganese, zinc, and iron. Therefore, it is the perfect product if all you care about is growing your fruit tree’s roots’ strength and length. This fertilizer helps the tree get a boost of energy within no time, hence, allowing it to grow drastically.
The formulation is this fertilizer is specially designed for citrus trees and fruit trees. This is because it provides most of the essential micronutrients that the trees require to grow fruit. This fertilizer will also help your tree fight diseases and grow better-quality fruits.
Some customers like the performance of this fertilizer immensely. However, others find it to be too expensive for its utility.
- Promotes healthy root growth
- Imparts immunity
- Provides required micronutrients
- Price too high according to performance
- No phosphorous and potassium content
NPK ratio: 3-3-3
IV Organic Store is a renowned name in the world of fertilizers. Here we have a great fertilizer for fruit trees due to its balanced NPK ratio and perfect macronutrient composition. Even though this fertilizer is perfect for almost all types of plants, it is exceptionally useful for fruit trees.
This fertilizer promotes juicer and sweeter fruit production due to its high calcium, sulfur, and manganese composition. This fertilizer provides all these nutrients in a completely organic manner, without disturbing the natural balance within the plants.
This product has a 4.9 out of 5-star rating on Amazon. Customers have seen a significant increase in their yield size and the immunity of their fruit trees.
- Completely organic
- Increases yield size
- Provides all micronutrients
- Balanced composition
- Low NPK
NPK ratio: 2-4-4
EarthPod Premium fertilizer spikes are rich in natural growth hormones, trace elements, plant nutrients, and amino acids. Everything in this fertilizer is organic and full of beneficial microbes, from the ingredients to the capsules themselves.
If you have dwarf fruit trees, you will love this formula that is specially designed for them. It helps in blooming, bettering the leaf color, fruit growth, and root development. It also gives enough immunity to the tress to tackle mild unfavorable conditions.
Customers specifically like the fact that this fertilizer does not have any unwanted smell. They also like how eco-friendly the product is.
- Completely organic and eco-friendly
- Full of beneficial microbes
- Perfect for both indoor and outdoor use
- No smell
NPK ratio: 4-4-4
Even though the formulation of this fertilization is granular, it is a quick-relief formula. This is possible because Jobe’s Biozome has microorganisms that break down the soil and the fertilizer aggressively and quickly. This is a completely organic fertilizer that is OMRI listed, which maintains the natural balance of the soil and the trees.
Other than providing all the right nutrients to the soil, Jobe’s Biozome creates a healthy soil environment that is adequate to fight diseases. It is also great for repelling insects and pests that might eat the produced fruits.
With a 4.5 out of 5-star rating on Amazon, this fertilizer has won the customers’ hearts. People like how it is a quick-releasing formula but affect the soil for longer than liquid fertilizers.
- Easy application
- Jobe’s Biozome creates a healthy soil environment.
- Provides all the necessary nutrients
- Need to be applied according to the instructions to avoid over-fertilization
NPK ratio: 5-0-0
This is a great liquid fertilizer for the first and second years of a fruit plant. It improves the greenery of the tree by adding concentrated vitamins and other essential nutrients into the soil. It helps in forming a strong root base that forms vigor and immunity in the tree.
If you combine this growth stimulator into some other fertilizer that is rich in phosphorous and potassium, the results will be miraculous. This product has all the necessary growth hormones, including Vitamin B-1, that promote healthy root growth.
Customers enjoy the durability and the timeless formula of the product. The non-toxic formulation is an added benefit for many people.
- Promotes plant growth
- Provides healthy growth hormones
- Newer versions of the product are getting thinner and less concentrated.
NPK ratio: 9-12-12
Jobe’s Fertilizer spikes are the best way to provide continuous fertilization to fruit trees. Not only are they convenient, but they are also a rich source of all the required nutrients. If your soil’s report shows that the land has decent nitrogen, this is the best fertilizer you can use to strengthen the roots and give more life to your plants.
Since the spikes go below the surface, they are great for mature fruit trees with deep roots. The fertilizer’s slow-releasing formula makes it easy for the trees to stay healthy for a long period. Most customers like how the trees seem to grow bigger fruits by using this fertilizer. Others do not like that the spikes could be a little fragile.
- Extremely convenient to use
- Perfect for small plantations
- Slow releasing formula
- Spikes are fragile
NPK ratio: 10-5-15
Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed is one of the most popular lines of fertilizers available in the market. Their all-purpose fertilizer is the perfect choice for anyone who likes to grow many types of trees, including fruit trees. A great thing about growing fruit trees is that all-purpose fertilizers work best with them because they generally have all the 16 essential nutrients.
This fertilizer is packed with healthy micronutrients and organic matter that aids faster plant growth. It is also a great source of energy for the luscious plant and flower growth. The formula is strong enough to keep the trees fed for up to 3 months.
This fertilizer barely has any bad ratings on Amazon. All users are happy with the performance and versatility of the product.
- Versatile – great for all fruiting trees
- Has all the necessary nutrients requires
- Aids in growing stronger roots and bigger fruits
- Breathes new life into older trees and fruiting shrubs
- Not ideal for new trees
NPK ratio: 12-0-0
Nitrogen is the building block of all plant life. Therefore, it is necessary to provide ample nitrogen to plants in the healthiest way possible. Down to Earth Organic Feather Meal Fertilizer Mix does just that. This fertilizer is the best source of nitrogen that you can provide to your heavy-feeding fruit trees.
This is a great fertilizer to promote shrub, tree, berry, and fruit growth. With the help of this fertilizer, you will never have to worry about dwarfing trees again. This fertilizer has a spectacular 4.8 out of 5-star rating on Amazon as the product provides the best growth spurts to trees.
- Extremely rich source of nitrogen
- Organic ingredients
- Great for heavy-feeders
- Steady release formula
- Allows trees to grow but does not impart strength to protect themselves against diseases
Apple Tree Fertilization
Apple trees consume a lot of energy for fruit production. Therefore, proper fertilization is an integral part of apple farming. The most important nutrients that apples require are calcium and potassium. Other than these, apples require all nutrients in moderation.
Apple Tree Nutrient Deficiencies and Feeding Requirements
Many nutrient deficiencies can be clearly seen on the surface of apple trees.
Boron deficiency is visible through the irregularity of fruit shapes, and dying shoot ends. Every full-size apple tree should get ½ pound of borax every 3-4 years to avoid boron deficiency.
Calcium deficiency makes the lower sides of apples rot easily due to improper cell wall growth. Application of 2-3 pounds of lime every 100 square feet should monitor calcium deficiency in apple trees.
Potassium deficiency leads to dry apples and an increased risk of frost damage. 2/5 pounds of potassium per 100 square feet of land should be enough to provide adequate potassium to plants.
Other nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous, zinc, and copper are essential for good apple formation. Applying fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 20-10-20 and abundant micronutrients helps provide all the nutrients that apple trees require.
When and How to Fertilize Apple Trees
Apple trees should be fertilized twice every season. The first fertilization should be done right before the buds begin to grow, which is around the month of June. The next fertilization should be done after the fruits are harvested.
The second fertilization should be broadcasted throughout the field at a depth of at least 4 feet. This is because apple trees like to store nutrients and water for the next season’s flowering and fruiting process. This second fertilization also helps apple trees stay resilient throughout the dormant winter season.
Using sul-po-mag fertilizers for trees that are growing at a fast rate should help them grow normally while performing photosynthesis correctly.
Best Fertilizer for Apple Trees
Given below is a fertilizer that works best for apple plantations.
NPK ratio: 20-10-20
With the optimum NPK ratio for apple plantations, this is one of the best fertilizers that you can feed your apple trees. The micronutrient composition of this fertilizer is perfect for providing the trees green leaves, strong branches, and healthy roots.
This is a great product to improve apple produce since it allows the roots to uptake nutrients freely. It helps apple trees get the highest amount of energy they need while providing enough boron, calcium, and potassium for the trees and fruits to thrive.
Most customers like the effects of this product on their apple and citrus fruit trees. Customers appreciate its slow-releasing and long-lasting formula.
- Great for healthy roots, fruits, and branches
- Supplies enough boron, calcium, and potassium for healthy apples
- Perfect NPK level
- Not organic
Banana Tree Fertilization
Growing banana trees is the most fulfilling and easy task of all the fruit trees possible. To produce sweet and healthy fruits, banana trees are heavy feeders, and they require a lot of potassium and phosphorous content. Fertilizing bananas is also a straightforward process since most all-purpose fertilizers are able to meet banana feeding requirements.
Banana Tree’s Nutrient Requirements
Much like any other fruit tree, banana trees require nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium in abundance. Since they are heavy-feeders, other micronutrients such as calcium are also necessary to distribute even growth in the trees.
High Importance of Potassium
If banana trees have a potassium deficiency, you will see frequent yellowing and leaves along with burnt leaf margins. Potassium deficiency also leads to low production of fruit since potassium is the leading component in banana fruits. The shape of bananas is also influenced due to potassium deficiency.
How to Fertilize Banana Trees
Banana trees require regular fertilization to produce optimum fruits. For outdoor banana trees, one and a half-pound of 8-10-8 fertilizer per month will perfect. However, you should take half the dose for indoor banana trees. Side dressing fertilizers will help the trees absorb all the nutrients in a balanced manner.
If your tree requires heavier fertilization, you can lightly fertigate with a liquid fertilizer after the soil has dried up to about ½ inch from the surface. Make sure that the fertilizer does not make the soil pH get higher than 6.0.
Trimming Banana Tress
Banana trees are generally extremely low-maintenance. Therefore, they do not require a lot of trimming and pruning. However, since potassium or nitrogen deficiencies can kill many leaves, it is advisable to cut off dead leaves from the lower ends of the tree.
Cutting these leaves will ensure that energy is directed towards growth instead of being dedicated to replenishing the dead leaves.
Best Fertilizer for Banana Trees
Given below is a fertilizer that is perfect to use to boost banana trees’ growth.
NPK ratio: 8-10-8
With an abundance of phosphorous, this fertilizer ensures that your banana trees are able to conduct photosynthesis perfectly. The high nitrogen and potassium level ensure that the trees are able to grow strong roots and produce rich fruits.
With a 4.7 out of 5-star rating on Amazon, customers are happy with this product. They find it to be a great product for banana as well as tomato farms. However, one reviewer finds the formula to be too heavy for banana plants according to their atmospheric conditions.
- Perfect NPK ratio
- Easy to use
- Dosage should be regulated according to the product’s application instructions to avoid killing banana trees.
Citrus Tree Fertilization
The best way to get the most out of your citrus trees is by feeding them properly. To produce massive fruits, citrus trees are heavy feeders. Therefore, you must be aware of when, how, and how often you should feed a citrus tree.
Citrus Tree Nutritional requirements
This should not come as a surprise – citrus trees like slightly acidic soil. Therefore, they require as little as lime and calcium possible for healthy growth. However, the total lack of micronutrients will be dangerous to them as well.
Citrus trees generally like nitrogen-rich soil or a somewhat balanced soil profile. However, micronutrients such as magnesium, boron, manganese, zinc, iron, and copper are crucial for the trees to thrive. The best fertilizers for citrus trees are those with the NPK ratio of about 20-5-20
When and How Much to Fertilize Citrus Trees
Citrus trees grow the most during spring and summer. You must fertilize the soil at least once a month in these active months. Fertilizing once every two months should be adequate during the dormant fall and winter seasons. Older trees, however, only need mild fertilization in the active months and can go without any fertilization in the dormant months.
How to Fertilize Citrus Trees
The most important thing to remember while fertilizing citrus trees is that the fertilizer should not be placed near the trunk. Most citrus trees uptake nutrients from either their roots or the leaves. You must follow the dosage and application instructions provided with your fertilizer to make an appropriate application method choice. Always irrigate after fertilization.
Best Fertilizer for Citrus Trees
Whether you have an outdoor citrus tree or a potted citrus plant, using the right fertilizer is crucial. You can choose any of the following fertilizers to help your citrus trees thrive.
NPK ratio: 20-5-10
Citrus plants require a fertilizer that would not tamper with the pH level of the soil too much. This is the fertilizer that fulfills that criteria while providing the best composition of nutrients possible. This fertilizer is full of required micronutrients along with rich nitrogen and potassium content. These are the most important nutrients that citrus trees require for maximum growth.
The reviews on Amazon are mostly satisfied with the product. They have nothing bad to say about the product. It surely helps me boosting plant growth.
- Perfect NPK ratio
- pH balanced
- Not organic
NPK ratio: 20-5-20
This wonderful Fertilizer by JR peters is designed specifically for citrus trees. With the right amount of nitrogen, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, and calcium, this is one of the best fertilizers for citrus trees. This formula is designed to make the branches stronger and yield bigger.
The formulation of the fertilizer is such that it will allow the citrus trees to uptake maximum nutrients. Customers like how the product is easy to use and extremely efficient. However, this was not suitable for people who like to use water-soluble fertilizers.
- High potassium and nitrogen content
- Perfect NPK ratio
- Allows natural uptake of nutrients
NPK ratio: 3-5-5
This organic fertilizer is great for potted or indoor citrus trees. The spikes are perfect for releasing nutrients into the potted area continuously for four to six weeks. Since the product has archaea and mycorrhizal fungi., it boosts citrus fruits’ growth exceptionally. This is a completely organic product that is OMRI listed.
Most customers are happy to see how these spikes increase the green foliage of the plant. However, they are concerned about how the shape is appealing to pet dogs, and they might try to eat it. People are also concerned how even with such a low NPK ratio, some small indoor citrus plants might die of overfertilization.
- Completely organic – OMRI listed
- Easy to use
- Slow but continuous release of nutrients
- Beneficial bacteria increase soil fertility.
- Not pet friendly
- Some small trees might die of overdosage.
Fertilizing Fig Trees
Fig trees are naturally growing trees that do not require a lot of fertilization. The biggest mistake that people make while growing fig trees is over-fertilizing them because they think that the growth is too slow. However, fig trees are naturally slow growers. Forcing a growth spurt onto fig trees results in cracked trunks due to nutrient imbalance.
Kind of Fertilizer Required
As a general law, as mentioned above, fog trees should not be fertilized a lot if you want them to grow organically. Whatever fertilization they require should come from a balanced fertilizer with NPK of either 10-10-10 or 8-8–8. Nothing stronger than that should be used since that can harm the fig trees.
When and How to Fertilize
Since it is extremely easy to overdo with fertilizers in fig trees, it is best to only use fertilizers when the tree shows signs of deficiency. If you see that the leaves of your tree are getting pale, you should consider fertilizing. There are only very few varieties of fig trees that require regular feeding.
An ounce of fertilizer every month before the new leaves start to grow is the optimum dosage for young trees. However, older trees can do with only 1/3rd pounds of fertilizer per foot of height only thrice a year.
To apply fertilizer, you must spread the material evenly around the root zone. You should leave space of about 3 feet between the base of the tree and the fertilizer for best results. Using fast-releasing formulas is great for fig trees as you will be fertilizing them when they show signs of deficiency.
Best Fig Tree Fertilizer
Each fig tree has unique requirements. However, the following fertilize is great for boosting fig growth.
NPK ratio: 8-8-8
This is an extra-sensitive fertilizer that is perfect for fig trees. The company claims that the fertilizer will not burn trees even if twice the recommended amount is put in. With eight organic and inorganic substances along with six micro-nutrients, this is a great product to provide a healthy growth boost to fig trees.
Customers are happy about how their fig trees have developed lush foliage due to this fertilizer. Customers like how their fruits grow in perfect health. However, some complain that the liquid formula is not consistent throughout the can.
- Balanced NPK
- Sensitive fertilizer
- Fast-releasing formula perfect for fig trees
- Great for both outdoor and indoor plants
- Just shake well before using to provide uneven fertilization.
Fertilizing Lemon Trees
Lemon trees are delightful to grow. However, they are not the easiest plant to fruit. Any slight imbalance in nutrient uptake can make lemon trees no fruit at all. Therefore, you must make sure that you are using the right kind of fertilizers in the right manner and at the right timing.
Right Fertilizer for Lemon Trees
The recommended NPK ratio for lemon trees is below 8-8-8. Anything below that should help the tree thrive without posing the risk of over-fertilization. The nitrogen content of the formulation should be high to promote better fruit production.
When and How to Fertilize Lemon Trees
Lemon trees should only be fertilized during their active seasons. Fertilization during the coldest months harms trees exceptionally. You should ensure that the trees are not being fertilized more than four times in one year.
Since the root-system of lemon-trees is generally very wide, you must not apply fertilizer at the base of the tree. Fertilizers should be put in a circle that is as far away from the tree as the height of the tree. Doing so will ensure that the tree is able to imbibe all the nutrients from the fertilizer.
Best Fertilizer for Lemon Trees
You can use the following fertilizer on your lemon plantation to get the maximum yield.
NPK ratio: 6-3-3
This completely organic fertilizer mix is perfect for lemon trees as it is specifically designed for citrus trees. With a high nitrogen level that does not exceed the 8-8-8 level, this is an extremely safe fertilizer for lemons.
This fertilizer is a rich source of nutrients such as calcium, iron, sulfur, and zinc. It is made with organic ingredients such as feather meal, kelp meal, fishbone meal, alfalfa meal, greensand, and sulfate of potash.
Customers like how it helps in strengthening the lemon tree veins. It is also responsible for perfectly shaped and colored lemon yield.
- Optimum NPK ratio
- Completely organic
- Safe to use on lemon trees
- Strengthens veins
- Unpleasant smell
Fertilizing Peach Trees
Peaches do not require a lot of fertilization. However, with the kind of nutrients that they require, they need proper control with fertilizers. Given below is some basic information you need to fertilize peach trees.
When and How to fertilize Peach Trees
Mature peach trees only require fertilization about twice a year. The best time to regulate both of the fertilizations is in early spring and early summer. New trees should be fertilized a week and a month after plantation. About 1/2 cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer for new trees and 1 pound of fertilizer for old trees is the recommended dosage.
Peach trees require balanced nutrients. Therefore, using 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 fertilizers is great for overall growth. Placing the fertilizer about 10 inches away from the trunk of the tree is the right way to go about fertilization. Placing the fertilizer too close to the trunk will not allow the nutrients to be imbibed into the tree.
Best Fertilizer for Peach Trees
Given below are some fertilizers that will help your peach trees thrive.
NPK ratio: 10-10-10
The triple all-purpose liquid fertilizer is the best way to increase plant growth. Not only does it have a balance NPK level, but it has seaweed extract and amino acids for rapid growth. This is the perfect fertilizer for most flowering and fruiting trees. Applying the fertilizer is very simple since it comes in an easy-pour application bottle.
Customers like how the fertilizer quickly solves any nutrient deficit that the plants might have. However, they recommend pouring with caution since the easy to pour application can sometimes be too easy, and you can get carried away.
- Optimum NPK ratio
- Easy to use
- Full of amino acids of seaweed
- Not organic but still has an unpleasant smell.
NPK ratio: 20-20-20
If you are looking for a great fertilizer for both outdoor and indoor peach plants, this is the formula for you. This is an exceptionally good product if the soil is excessively infertile. Therefore, this fertilizer allows you to grow healthy peaches in just about any soil.
Most users like how this fertilizer promotes rapid leaf growth. However, others say that the fertilizer does not promote fruit growth much. in fact, the nutrients are more focused on plant growth than on fruit growth.
- Great for Deficient soil
- Perfectly balanced NPK for peach plants
- Can be used in outdoor and indoor plants
- Promotes rapid growth
- It might be too strong for some plants. Therefore, the fertilizer should be applied with caution.
Fertilizing Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees
Fiddle leaf trees are not the easiest to grow among all fruiting trees. They require just the right amount of water, sunlight, and fertilizers to grow effectively. If you provide the right kind of fertilization to your fiddle leaf fig [plant, it can grow up to 40 feet in height. Therefore, knowing the right fertilization kind, time, and method is extremely important for any fiddle leaf plant grower.
Using liquid-based fertilizers works best for fiddle leaf fertilizers since they usually require a quick-fix solution. Most fiddle leaf fig trees require higher amounts of nitrogen as compared to other nutrients. Therefore, using a 3-1-2 NPK fertilizer in the dosage explained in the package is the right choice.
How to Fertilize a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant?
Fertilizing a fiddle lead fig tree in spring and summer is the right choice. You must fertigate the plant once a month with either a drip-irrigation method or a soaker hose. Make sure that you only apply the recommended amount of fertilizer to your fiddle leaf fig plant; otherwise, you might risk killing it due to over-fertilization.
Fertilizing fiddle leaf fig plant in the winter is not necessary. These plants are generally robust enough to protect themselves in the winter season.
Best Fertilizer for Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees
Given below is the fertilizer that will get you the healthiest fiddle leaf fig trees.
NPK ratio: 3-1-2
There is no doubt that when fertilizer is specifically designed for the plant in question, the results are spectacular. The Aquatic Arts Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Fertilizer is one such example. It is a great fertilizer for fiddle leaf figs not only because of the perfect NPK ratio but also because it understands the other growing requirements of the plant and adjusts accordingly.
The company claims that the natural formula will not burn trees even if the fertilizer is poured in a little excess. It is a durable fertilizer that is rich in all the raw nutrients needed. It is also a great fertilizer to breathe life into your old or fickle fiddle leaf fig plants.
Customers like how this product is a great root stimulator. However, they do not like that the fertilizer has a pungent odor even though it is not an organic product.
- Perfect NPK ratio
- Designed specifically for Fuddle Leaf Fig trees
- Sensitive formula
- It comes with all the required raw nutrients.
- Not organic
- It has a pungent odor.
Fertilizing Orange Trees
Growing orange trees is very similar to growing other citrus trees. Orange trees, too, are heavy feeders and therefore require regular fertilization. With the help of nutrients such as iron, boron, magnesium, manganese, copper, aluminum, and zinc, you can maximize your plant’s growth.
The lack of any of the above-mentioned nutrients can lead to premature yellowing of orange tree leaves. Lack of nitrogen slowly decreases the fruit or yield size throughout the year.
When to Fertilize Orange Trees according to age
The fertilization of orange trees is largely dependent on the age of the tree. Not only does age dictate the number of fertilizers required, but it also dictates when the tree should be fertilized.
orange trees require fertilization at the time of planting and then three weeks after planting. Only ½ a cup of fertilizer would suffice the plant at this stage. During the first year of the plant, you must fertilize every six weeks between February and September. Start with a low dosage, and by September, you can increase the dosage to about 3 cups.
You must remember not to let the fertilizer come in direct contact with the tree. Also, reducing the dosage after the third year of the tree would help produce better fruits in the future.
When the orange tree is of five years of age or older, it should be fertilized a year thrice. Feed 4.6 pounds of 6-4-6 fertilizer in February and 5.8 pounds in April and September. Make sure that the fertilizer is spread at least 10 feet away from the tree’s canopy to ensure proper nutrient absorption.
Best Fertilizer for Orange Trees
Orange trees have their unique fertilization requirements, and the fertilizer mentioned below fulfills them.
NPK ratio: 6-4-6
This plant food is specifically designed for citrus fruits such as oranges. With the help of this fertilizer, you can increase your seasonal yield drastically. This is a very cost-effective fertilizer as you do not have to apply a lot of it to the plants.
The NPK ratio is perfect for most citrus trees, including oranges. It can keep the orange trees fed for about six weeks without issues. Therefore, your trees will not have to go without fertilizers for a long time. Along with the three essential nutrients, this fertilizer is also a rich source of manganese and iron.
Customers say that the iron content makes the fruits look beautiful and evenly shaped. They like how it is perfect for increasing the size of organs that grow from their trees. Since the fertilizer has a sensitive formula, if your trees require it, you can use it more frequently without hurting your plant’s roots.
- Designed for citrus fruit trees
- Good source of nitrogen, iron, manganese, and potassium
- Increases the size of oranges and the entire yield size
- The powdery substance might be a little difficult to apply.
Frequently Asked Questions
Given below are answers to some of the most asked questions about fruit tree farming.
1. When should I fertilize my fruit trees?
Most fruit trees have two stages – the active stage in the spring and summer seasons and the dormant stage in the fall and winter seasons. Most fruit trees bear fruit during spring, after which they do not need many nutrients.
The best time to fertilize fruit trees is in early spring, when the trees have entered their active stage but have not started flowering yet. You must fertilize till the trees grow buds. You can continue fertilizing till August. However, fertilizing after that might cause harm to the trees in the dormant season as they store too much energy that they cannot dispense.
2. Is it okay to fertilize newly planted fruiting trees?
The first fertilization that the soil should get is well before the plants are even potted. Preparing the soil is crucial to make sure that you do not have to fertilize absolutely newly potted plants. While you can fertilize newly planted fruit trees, but doing so is not advisable.
It is always a better idea to encourage the trees to grow independently. Doing so will allow them to grow stronger roots and will help them be more resistant to harsh weather conditions. Fertilizing after a few weeks of planting is the ideal thing to do.
3. Is the smell of natural fertilizers concerning?
Most organic fertilizers have a strong, pungent smell. The smell is a result of all the natural substances that are fermented or processed before mixing them together. The smell is absolutely alright. However, if it concerns you too much, you should wear a mask and gloves before applying the fertilizer.
Taking precaution against fertilizer smell is important because some fertilizers’ smell is too pungent. This smell can make a person sick or get some nasal allergies.
4. Should I use chicken manure for fruit trees?
Most fruit trees enjoy organic matter as their primary fertilizing agents. However, using un-composted and raw chicken manure might not be the best idea. Chicken manure has extremely high nitrogen content. Therefore, if you use it directly on fruit trees, you might risk over-fertilizing the trees to the point of damage.
It is okay to use fertilizers that have composted chicken manure, however. Commercial fertilizers ensure that the nutrient value is brought down to a safe level for target trees.
5. Should I use cow manure for fruit trees?
Cow manure is an exceptionally high source of nitrogen. You can use it on mature trees, but even then, the manure should be processed. You should never use raw cow manure to fertilize young or newly potted trees. The exceptionally high nitrogen content can potentially kill young saplings and plants.
Fertilizing fruit trees is not a very difficult job. However, you must be aware of when, how, how much, and what kind of fertilization a fruit tree requires. Each fruit tree has different requirements. All species have different rooting systems and feeding habits. However, what unifies all of them is that the purpose of fertilizing fruit trees is to maximize the fruit yield.
If you have been wondering what is the best fertilizer for fruit trees, you can find some answers in this article. Not only have we listed the best general fertilizers for fruit trees, but we also have fruit-specific chosen fertilizers and growing instructions. We hope that this extensive guide helps you produce an amazing yield in the coming season.
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.